Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thumbs Up for Heathrow Choice

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thumbs Up for Heathrow Choice

Article excerpt

Byline: Will Metcalfe Reporter

RECOMMENDATIONS to build a third runway at Heathrow have been welcomed in the North East. The Airports Commission yesterday released a report backing a proposed third runway at Heathrow.

Both Newcastle Airport and the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) have welcomed the move and predicted benefits for the region as Heathrow already takes 500,000 passengers a year from the region.

David Laws, chief executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: "We have had great faith in the process undertaken by Sir Howard Davies and his colleagues on the Airports Commission.

"We are very pleased that the commission has made what we consider to be the right recommendation.

"Heathrow is the UK's only hub airport, and is one of the most important hubs in the world, but it is full.

"The North East currently enjoys good connectivity into Heathrow with up to seven British Airways services a day, delivering 500,000 passengers from the North East. By constructing a third runway, and providing additional capacity, these services can be safeguarded, but can in the future also connect to a much wider range of global destinations.

We urge the Government to agree to the recommendations of this commission at the earliest opportunity, and set about the process of delivering this globally important scheme.

"There will be local political opposition to the third runway, but this must be overcome, as the building of the runway will be in the national interest."

Coun Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council and lead for the LA7 group of local authority airport shareholders, said: "The future success of the North East economy is dependent upon our region having good connectivity.

"In recent years we have secured services to key global hubs, including Dubai and New York, to complement the likes of Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels.

"In terms of passenger numbers, however, Heathrow remains our largest hub connection.

"I welcome the fact that in recommending the expansion of Heathrow, the Airports Commission has recognised its importance to regions such as the North East. …

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